This small inscribed limestone tablet was discovered in 1908 by R.A.S.Macalister in the ancient Israeli city of Gezer. The inscription is probably the oldest known example of Hebrew writing with a probable date from the 10th Century BC. This indicates that the inscription was written at a time when the Bible says Solomon was on the throne in Jerusalem I Kings 9.
The tablet is particularly interesting because there are traces of erasing and reuse on both front and back. We can surmise that it may have been a practice tablet for a young scribe 3,000 years ago.
The content of the tablet lists agricultural activities and associates each with a number of months in the year. The importance of writing to this early Hebrew society is emphasized. The content of the stone tablet reminds us of the annual routine in a society based upon agriculture.
The list on the tablet is as follows:
- 2 months of in gathering (Exodus 23:16)
- 2 months of sowing (Psalm 107:37)
- 2 months of spring growth (Deuteronomy 11:14)
- 1 month of pulling flax (Joshua 2:6)
- 1 month of barley harvest (Ruth 1:22)
- 1 month when everything else is harvested